The Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia Cyprus comprise parts of the island of Cyprus which remained British territory when the Republic of Cyprus was created in 1960. Akrotiri is located in the south of the island, near the city of Limassol (or Lemesos), while Dhekelia is situated in the southeast, near Larnaca. Both of these areas include military bases, farmland and some residential land. Akrotiri and Dhekelia together cover an area of 254 km2, an equivalent of 3% of the entire island.
As part of the Mediterranean biodiversity hotspot, Cyprus holds a very rich fauna and flora. The salt lake at Akrotiri is the most important wetland on Cyprus and provides a winter home to greater flamingos. Colonies of griffon vultures and falcons and various reptiles and amphibians live within the bases. The bases also provide habitat for many migrant songbirds. Loggerhead and green turtles breed on the beaches of the bases.
In terms of botanical importance, the Sovereign Base Areas share with Cyprus several Mediterranean habitats, such as coastal communities, saltmarshes and Mediterranean garrigue, an aromatic thorny shrubby vegetation type. About 1800 plant species are known to grow on the island of Cyprus. Several botanic surveys indicate that the Sovereign Base Areas are home to at least 10% of Cypriot plant species.
Please use the links below to see further details on conservation activities in the UK Overseas Territories.